An intriguing new invention has met its $5,000 funding target on Kickstarter and now has its eyes set on its $30,000 stretch goal. The product, called MouseAir, is an AI-based do it yourself cat toy made for the Raspberry Pi.
How MouseAir works is simple by design and humorous in execution. A machine learning algorithm (called “cat/no cat”) is used to detect when a cat comes into the field of view of the onboard camera. Once a cat is detected, a toy mouse is rocketed from the attached servo motor at high-speed, enticing felines to give chase.
As a do it yourself project, all parts and software are included if shoppers pledge $85 or more. There’s no soldering required and assembly is reportedly straightforward. For the more adventurous, people can print their own parts for the device with a 3D printer.
Controlling the device is also made easy through the Blynk app available for Android and iOS mobile phones.
MouseAir raised the required $5,000 for the project to go ahead within the first few days of the campaign going live. Twenty people have backed the project so far pledging an average of $250 each.
The next stretch goals for the project are at the $20,000 and $30,000 milestones. Once it reaches $20,000 the creators will reportedly accept submissions for cat pictures from fans to further train its AI cat-detecting algorithm. At $30,000, a $500 contest will be held to decide the best design and implementation of a multi-mouse loader.
The creator of MouseAir is SwitchDoc Labs, a company that specialises in “small computer systems for learning, education, hobbyist use and deployment.” Its CTO is Dr. John Shovic a published author and has served as a professor of computer science.
Shovic is credited to starting numerous other Kickstarter campaigns involving Raspberry Pi tech, AI and Internet of Things technologies. To date, Shovic has created a DIY weather station, solar power boards and connectors, as well as a smart garden system.